Landlords banking on the Chancellor to extend his stamp duty holiday and help them either buy or sell properties have had their hopes dashed.
Housing minister Christopher Pincher (pictured) has told parliament that the “government does not plan to extend this relief and will continue to monitor the property market”.
Pincher made the comments in answer to shadow Justice minister Peter Kyle (pictured, below) who was wondering if leaseholders trapped by ongoing cladding scandal would be given more time to sell their homes via the stamp duty ‘nil rate’ band.
But the housing minister went further and said that the stamp duty holiday, which is due to run out on 31st March next year, was only designed to give the housing market a shot in the arm following the initial Covid lockdown.
Saving anyone buying a property under £500,000 some £15,000 on average, the holiday does not include the additional 3% duty that landlords and second-home owners pay.
Calls for the Chancellor to extend or modify the scheme have been growing lounder in recent weeks as conveyancers have struggled to handle the huge number of property sales that flooded the housing market after the Covid lockdown, and which is still working its way through the system.
This led the Conveyancing Association to warn that any sales agreed after the end of September were unlikely to progress to completion before the cut-off, stranding some 365,000 sales.
Leading industry figures to call on the Chancellor to enable sales agreed to be included within the cut-off date or taper the system to avoid a ‘cliff edge’.
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, says: ‘The loss of so many transactions caused by the ending of the stamp duty holiday could have a devastating effect, not just on the property market but the wider economy”.